When I met her she was close to full-term pregnant, studying philosophy, and still running for the bus in high-heeled shoes.
Samantha’s birth of her baby girl was the first home birth I ever witnessed. Her gorgeous, ethereal, wise-beyond-her-hours and wide-eyed baby girl was born into water in the early morning hours, in the living room of her parents’ apartment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I was in nursing school at the time. I believe that Samantha knew someplace in her heart that I would be very little help to her, but as a true feminist, Samantha gifted my awkward presence to the so many other women she herself would never meet. Women I would one day serve, with wisdom that only Samantha and her natural instincts could ever have taught me.
“There’s nothing wrong with the hospital,” I remember her telling me afterwards. “I’m glad that it exists, for when people need it.” I couldn’t have chosen a better teacher than Samantha, who at 23 and as a first-time mother was one of the wisest women I ever met (or ever have, to this day).
Samantha is an intuitive mother, an accomplished web designer, and a role model. Her daughter’s beautiful, intelligent and gentle nature was my first lesson in the subtle, sweet difference that home birth makes. When I planned our own birth at home, I remembered Samantha.